Fraudsters used a sophisticated Trojan to steal online bank login credentials from the compromised PCs of their victims, London's Southwark Crown Court heard on Tuesday.
The malware redirected surfers to a counterfeit NatWest bank website that attempted to trick prospective marks into handing over telephone numbers, passwords, and bank card PINs under the guise of security checks.
Dominic Connolly, prosecuting, explained the Trojan used by the cybercrooks allowed customers to continue to carry out normal bank transactions while surreptitiously transferring funds to accounts maintained by local money mules, the Daily Mail reports.
Local intermediaries were used to loot the compromised accounts of UK victims, raiding an estimated £600,000 from the accounts of 138 NatWest customers in the process. The bank has since recovered £140,000 of these losses.
A police investigation led to the arrest of Uzbek national Azim Rahmanov from Deptford, south-east London. Rahmanov, 24, denies charges of conspiracy to defraud and transferring criminal property. Others implicated in the case, including Rahmanov's 25-year-old brother Azamet, have pleaded guilty to various offences.
The case, which is expected to run for about two weeks, continues. ®